“The district court did not deny her responsibility based solely upon the fact that she told the probation officer that she had never done anything wrong. The district court instead declined to give Frykholm the bargain-rate sentencing discount because she falsely denied during her sentencing hearing having made that statement to the probation officer. Contrary to Frykholm’s argument, the district court expressly considered the possibility that Frykholm’s statement might have been merely the product of stress and a poorly worded expression of confusion or remorse, stating that he ‘fully expected that [Frykholm] might come in and admit that she made this statement but that she made it in an emotional state . . . because . . .
this whole thing has been an ordeal for her.’ The court went on to note that if such were the case, he was prepared to give Frykholm the sentencing reduction for acceptance of responsibility. When she denied having made the statement (rather than explain why she made it), the judge properly found that Frykholm had made the statement in an attempt to manipulate the probation officer and evoke sympathy and next declined to give Frykholm an adjustment for acceptance of responsibility because she had compounded her error by lying about that statement while testifying during her sentencing hearing.”
“In this case, where Frykholm was given an opportunity to explain a statement that seemed utterly inconsistent with acceptance of responsibility given its plain meaning, Frykholm not only chose not to explain the statement, but rather went beyond it and boldly attempted to offer an exculpatory denial… The sentencing judge properly chose not to give any credence to her denial and instead determined that Frykholm had in fact advised the probation officer that she had never done anything wrong in an effort to evoke sympathy and to downplay her criminal conduct.”
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Reinhard, J., Coffey, J.